Northern CA Freshwater

Truckee: Plumb the depths for better Stampede kokanee

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 18, 2019

TRUCKEE — James Netzel of Tight Lines Guide Service finally found a pattern that got him a better grade of Stampede kokanee, and the answer was to go deeper, much deeper to 90 feet.

“We found some good fish and I didn’t have to wade through small ones to get them,” he said. “You have to fish deep, at 90 feet. Never in my life in the past 5 years did I have to fish that deep at Stampede but I’m not complaining.”

limitsareeasyLIMITS ARE EASY at Stampede when you’re fishing with a guide that fishes the lake every day, and Steven Burke of Lodi fished with Tight Lines Guide Service and found the bigger fish way deeper — down to 70 and 100 feet on Paulina Peak Tackle’s new “Flutterbug” behind a Peak Performer dodger at .8 mps.

Netzel said the kokanee are starting to school, and that’s helping. So did slowing his trolling speed from 1.3 mph to .8. “Since we slowed down we can’t keep the fish off our hooks and now it’s 90-percent big fish unless you’re fishing up too shallow,” he said.

Fellow guide Shaun Rainsbarger of Shaun’s Guide Service said he, too, changed things up by heading to the center of the lake instead of up the creek arms. “They’re good sized and deeper than you’d think,” he said. “We were releasing 13-inch fish to keep the 14s and 15s while looking for the 16s and 17s, and we lost some really good line-ripping fish.”

Marc Christophel of Christophel’s Guide Service called the ongoing Stampede kokanee bite “excellent, outrageous. Yesterday we had limits by 9 and today even earlier, and that’s being selective,” he said.

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